Egypt’s move to limit the cross-border traffic to one-way only – from Sinai into Gaza but not vice versa – came immediately after Hamas announced it had taken control of the crossing.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Concerned that the renewed inability of Gazans to enter Egypt would lead to more violence, Israel is asking President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to annul the partial closure he had ordered, the Qatari paper Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported Thursday.
Egypt’s move to limit the cross-border traffic to one-way only – from Sinai into Gaza but not vice versa – came immediately after Hamas announced it had taken control of the crossing on Monday, after the Palestinian Authority withdrew its security forces the previous day.
A Palestinian official told Reuters that the restriction was put in place to show Egypt’s “disappointment at the faltering of the 2017 reconciliation agreement.”
The Rafah crossing is the only one that leads from Gaza directly to Egypt. Cairo has kept it closed a vast majority of the time since Israel withdrew from the Strip in 2005, although it has been open since August.
Restricting the Palestinians’ freedom of movement again has Israel’s security authorities worried, said the paper. They are “concerned that squeezing the Gaza Strip will turn the attention of the Palestinian factions” toward the Jewish state, presumably in an even greater wave of violence than the ongoing weekly rioting at the border fence, arson attacks and rocket fire that have plagued Israel since last March.